The United States Department of State issued a warning to citizens on June 23 regarding underlying risks associated with travel to Burundi due to political tensions, political and criminal violence, and the potential for civil unrest.
Due to security concerns, the US government restricts diplomatic travel in certain areas of Burundi, including nighttime travel outside of Bujumbura and trips to the Bujumbura neighborhoods of Cibitoke, Gasenyi, Kamenge, Kinama, Musaga, Mutakura, and Ngagara.
Political violence persists throughout Burundi in the aftermath of the country's contested July 2015 elections. Gunfire and grenade attacks by armed groups occur on a regular basis. Furthermore, a number of political opposition parties, human rights organizations, and international NGOs have voiced concerns over the continuation of political violence against the opposition in recent months. Security forces and members of the youth wing of the ruling party Imbonerakure are accused of targeting opponents in violent attacks. The situation remains worrisome, particularly in Bujumbura, where the chance of politically motivated outbreaks of violence remains. On a related note, a number of armed criminals have reportedly crossed into Burundi from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Individuals present in Burundi should avoid public gatherings, especially those with no visible security presence, and are advised to maintain a high level of vigilance at all times in crowded places such as churches, markets, cafes, and bus stations. Flashpoints of violence should be avoided, including Bujumbura's Cibitoke, Jabe, Kamenge, Kanyosha, Kinama, Musaga, Mutakura, Ngagara, and Nyakabiga neighborhoods, and Bujumbura Rural province.
More generally, individuals in Burundi - especially in Bujumbura - are advised to adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities. Travelers should avoid traveling by foot after nightfall, only keep small amounts of cash on hand, and, if driving, park in a secured parking lot close to their destination. Drive with doors locked, windows rolled up, and with all valuables hidden from sight. Keep your phone charged and with you at all times.